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DARK VENTURE: An Adventure Card Game (PnP) $12.99
Publisher: Gilded Skull Games
by Stephan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2021 13:54:12

This review is not about the game itself - it's been reviewed by many more qualified than i to do so - but about the PnP distribution.

Management summary: an epic-sized print-and-play kit with absolutely gorgeous components.

i just finished building this PnP kit and its Vile Invaders expansion for the 2nd time and have the following to say about the PnP aspect of the game:

  • Fantastic art and component quality.

  • Getting it printed at A4 posed no problems but i had it professionally printed via an online service. Home printers might not be able to handle such a conversion because the card cut lines are (due to A4 being slightly narrower than US Letter) directly on the edge of the page, which is a no-print zone for most consumer-grade printers. To convert to A4 i used pdftk to rotate the pages to portrait orientation and concatenate them into one file, then used the "print to pdf" of a PDF reader to resize them to A4, being sure to disable the "shrink to printable area" option (let it truncate as needed and the content will fit A4 fine, with the above caveat about the edge of the page).

  • With a bit of care and some 19mm blank cardboard or thin wood circles to mount them on, the game's many (approx. 200) tokens can come out looking as nice as professionally-made ones. These were, for me, the most time-consuming build aspect, but i admittedly spent far more time on them than necessary.

  • Assuming this review system will permit external links, here's a link to my Dark Venture photo album, which contains many photos of the constructed game (mostly from the first (lesser) build) and construction process: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3QGcyc8yrHAuUtwC9

Though i give it high praise, i'm deducting 1 single star for:

  • The ostensibly mini-euro-sized mini cards are a tiny tick too tall. i had to trim about 1mm off of them to fit them into sleeves. (This is apparently also the case for the manufactured version.)

  • None of the cards have any bleed, which means cutting them properly and precisely takes more care than it would if the cards had a couple millimeters of bleed space to soak up the unavoidable imprecisions introduced by by-hand card construction.

Even so, DV rates a spot at the very top of my PnP stack for its scope and gorgeous art.

Sidebar: So why did i build it twice? Dark Venture was my first "large" PnP game and my skills were truly lacking for the first build, leading to serviceable but mediocre cards. About eight months later i decided to take another crack at it, applying skills i had picked up since the first build, and the results the second time around were much nicer. That second build, however, was just the cards. The tokens, standees, dashboards, and such, were already of acceptable build quality.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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DARK VENTURE: An Adventure Card Game (PnP)
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